Friday, November 02, 2007

Five minutes...please...!!!

Get up. It is time to get ready.

Ma, 5 minutes, please!

I have no idea how many times I would have played out this situation in my life. It all started during my school days, when I had to get up early in the morning. My school started at 7:30 in the morning, and my mother would start her wake-me-up process from 6:00, which would easily go on till 6:30. The struggle would continue relentlessly every morning, shuttling between the room and the kitchen every five minutes. She would coax and cajole, give a stern call at times, and finally, would consider that the best option would be to drag me off the bed. I would react as if my mother had committed a sin by treating me so "violently". I would never help her cause by reacting too slowly in the morning, contrary to the way she pulled herself up every morning, never flinching even once in her daily chores. How could I explain to her the bliss of early morning sleep? The day began by deriding the cold Bangalore weather, which never helped my cause of an early morning wake up. In spite of all that, the next forty five minutes saw a frenzy of activities, with some amazing management skills, that helped me reach school perfectly on time. Not once have I reached late in my primary school, thanks to my mother.

Luckily, the shift system helped me get an afternoon slot for the next five years. I never really had to worry about getting up early till my high school. Not that my high school had early school hours, but the fact was, I had this habit of putting up a show, an act of study at dawn. Just before going to bed, I would let out a statement of utmost sincerity, which was actually devoid of even the smallest quantity of it, Ma, please wake me up at five in the morning. I have to study quite a lot. Exams are fast approaching. I would sleep as if my whole life had been forgotten for the next few hours. My mother would get up, wake me up, wake me up again, and again, and again. But there I used to lie on the bed with absolutely no idea, that somebody is shaking me so violently, and that I had made a commitment a few hours ago about the early morning saga. She would let out a sigh, mutter (well, actually, shout) a few words, and then get back to catch a few winks herself for the next few minutes. After approximately two to three hours, I would wake up, with dread and fear; I had so much to study, but more importantly with a fear of what my mother would say. She would let me know that she is never going to take up the task of waking me up again. If I was responsible enough, I should get up with the help of an old alarm clock. She would make it clear in the next twenty minutes, as I sipped a cup of Boost or Bournvita, with my eyes fixed intently on the sports column of the Deccan Herald. My father, who would be watching this from close quarters, would let out a sigh at my mother's misery and scold her for taking up such an arduous task of waking me up. But my mother would continue the next day on my insistence.

As I grew up and walked through the different phases of my life in college, engineering and work, I depended more and more on my mother for the early morning call. She responded at every stage, egging me on to get up and do what I should for the rest of the day, listening to several five minute requests, and waiting patiently with a cup of hot milk or whatever that could infuse a sense of awakening (no pun intended), and making sure that I was fully awake before she could carry on with her daily chores. I could never get myself to wake up using an alarm clock, as I always knew that my mother would come to me early in the morning. I never could gain that sense of responsibility as long as I was at home. Even as I started work, I knew whom to look up to for a wake up call. My brother who grew up turned out to be the same. I narrate this incident to friends, and they second me by saying that they have been through the same things in life. It is no doubt that with mothers, we take things for granted.

To sum it up nicely, I remember an incident sometime back. My cousin was telling us about his boss. He always sleeps with his laptop by his side. Whenever he gets a message, he hears an alert from Outlook. So, he immediately gets up, responds to the message and continues with his work. My mother just looked at us and told, "You fellows will not get up even if a temple bell is sounded, let alone an Outlook alert"!!! We were laughing the whole day with that statement. But the truth is, that statement never turned out to be a joke.

Today, as I help myself with mobile alarms, snoozing it twenty times in an hour, I realize how difficult it must have been for my mother to do the same things day in and day out without a hint of frustration even once in those many years. As I complete this blog and get some sleep, I realize that I have to get up early tomorrow to finish up some work. How I wish you could see that glint in my eye!


  1. :)))))))))

    Mothers will always be remembered for their selfless work day in and day out.
    Now that we are grown up, we realize how much pains and efforts they have taken for every little thing concerning us. Be it waking up, feeding, combing my hair, helping in some projects or in fever..

    Hail mothers of this world.

  2. Praveena....awesome writeup..its my story :)

  3. i guess each of us identifies with this..those 5 more minutes are the best...

  4. hmm...reminds me of how much i shud njoi my naps durin my graduatin sem...:)

  5. Cuckoo,
    Yep!! Rightly said about mothers. They are the only ones with whom we can take things for granted :-)

    Thank you!! Everyone's story!!!

    Yes, very much. Those five minutes always stretch to eternity :-)

    Yes, sleep well, Abhishek!!!!

  6. Haha .... i just translated the temple bell statement of your mom in tamil(of course imagining how she would have said it ).

  7. Illusion,
    Yeah, the tamil translation of that sentence would be phenomenal :-)

  8. You know what you summed up the entire thing very nicely. I have loved early morning sleep ever since I was a kid. And yet, now when I work I still need to wake up early. I wonder when will this change. I hate to wake up on cold mornings. :(

    Also, I no longer have luxury of being woken by Ma. I wake by my phone alarm! :(

  9. Poonam,
    Thank you very much for the comment and more importantly, welcome to my blog!!!

    Yep, even I have to wake up using my phone alarm, and it is too much of a pain, when you know that you do not have the soft hands of your mother egging you on to wake up :-(

  10. I just read this - and it made me nostalgic - viewed from the other side!

  11. I just read this - and it made me nostalgic - viewed from the other side!

  12. I understand :-)
    Even my mother felt the same after reading this!